With A Friend Like Harry

on April 20, 2001 by Shlomo Schwartzberg
   Michel (Laurent Lucas) is your typical harassed family man, with three misbehaving children, financial worries and a house that's falling apart. On the way to his ramshackle summer home, he bumps into amiable Harry (Sergi Lopez), an old classmate from 20 years ago whom he doesn't remember. But Harry not only recalls Michel, he's in awe of him and, soon enough, decides to help Michel change his life to what he thinks it should be. It's aid that involves murder.

   In the hands of a master like Hitchcock or Dominik Moll's fellow French director Claude Chabrol, "Harry, He's Here To Help" could have been a really chilling thrill ride. But Moll's direction is poky and the film never comes to life. Sergi Lopez's Harry occasionally reminds one of Robert Walker in Hitchcock's "Strangers on a Train," but Laurent Lucas' inexpressive performance gives Lopez little to play against. Harry's got some edge, but the film does not.    Starring Laurent Lucas, Sergi Lopez and Mathilde Seigner. Directed by Dominik Moll. Written by Dominik Moll and Gilles Marchand. Produced by Michel Saint-Jean. A Miramax release. Thriller. French-language; subtitled. Not yet rated. Running time: 117 min.

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